Three municipalities in the Columbia Valley will be receiving grants from the provincial government equalling the carbon tax they have paid this year. The grants, officially titled Climate Action Revenue Incentive Program (CARIP) Payments, are given to communities that have signed the Climate Action Charter, which pledges that signatories will achieve carbon neutrality by 2012.
The District of Invermere will be receiving $5,825 which they will put towards the purchase of carbon offset credits in order to remain carbon neutral, Karen Cote, Director of Finance for the District, said.
“The District of Invermere is one of the 19 participating local governments that have committed to meeting their commitment to being carbon neutral for 2012 by purchasing offsets through Carbon Neutral Kootenays project through a collaborative procurement offer towards the Darkwoods Project,” Cote said.
Currently the Darkwoods Project has come under scrutiny by the Auditor General as it may not be a legitimate source of carbon offset credits, so Cote said Invermere will wait and see what the final verdict is before purchasing the credits from that particular source.
In Radium, the $887.00 they will be receiving will also be going to purchase carbon offset credits, Karen Sharp, Chief Financial Officer for the Village or Radium, said.
“Our current budget figure is $1,350 [to spend on offset credits] if the Dark Woods project moves forward. If not then it will be saved for another qualified offset project,” she said.
The Regional District will be utilizing the $9,715 CARIP payment they are entitled to to offset the costs of paying the original carbon tax. The Regional District also purchases carbon offset credits, but the costs are calculated based on where the carbon emissions are originating, Matt Gunn, Planner for RDEK, said.
“We will always produce carbon so we have to buy the offsets. We take every service that we attribute carbon production to, and the costs for offsets are shared among the taxpayers that utilize or benefit from that particular service,” he said.